Thinking Ahead: resources to help families plan for the future
Thinking Ahead is an approach to supporting families to talk about and plan for the future, including planning for leaving school and college and thinking about adult life.
There are two planning guides to give families information they may need and ideas to encourage conversations.
Thinking Ahead: a planning guide for families is a planning guide for parents, or other relatives, who would like information to help them talk and think about the future. It offers a practical approach to preparing for adult life. It has nine sections that cover:
- making decisions
- making plans for the future in a person-centred way
- building friendships and support networks
- talking about difficult subjects
- making financial plans
- housing and support
- making a plan for emergencies
- keeping an eye on things
- making a plan for the future
Each section can be used independently or the guide can be used as a whole.
The other guide is called I’m Thinking Ahead and uses easy words, drawings and Photosymbols to make information easier for people with learning disabilities to understand and use. It can also give their families, friends and supporters ideas about how to include young people in conversations about the future.
This guide has three sections:
- how to make choices
- how to plan
- how to get the right housing and support
Both guides are free to download. They are available in the format of a rewriteable pdf which means you can download it, write your thoughts and ideas in boxes and templates and save it for future use, updating and sharing. In this way it can be used over a number of years without having to start again.
Who the service provides for
- Families of young people and adults with learning disabilities / SEND
- Young people and adults with learning disabilities / SEND
- People supporting young people and adults with learning disabilities such as in support services, schools and colleges and by social workers
A Merton parent has written about his experience of using Thinking Ahead https://www.togethermatters.org.uk/planning-the-future/